6 Top Tips for Driving in London

Many people are concerned and worried when it comes to driving around our capital. From traffic filled streets, to the added congested charge, no matter how experienced a driver you are, you may find navigating the roads of London to be a bit of a challenge.

Whether you are going for a city break with your partner or you have an upcoming business trip, here are our top tips on how to drive safely around the big smoke.  

Expect Traffic

While driving in London can sometimes be unpredictable, one thing that you can be sure of is traffic. With London being the capital of the UK, it almost always has bad traffic, and this is even worse during peak times such as rush hour.

One of our biggest top tips is not to underestimate the traffic as even the simplest of ten-minute journeys can turn into an hour spent in gridlock. While many of the locals blame the traffic on the tourist tours that take place, this is to be expected in one of the world’s busiest and most popular destinations.

Avoid Shortcuts

If you have spent a considerable amount of time sat in lines and lines of traffic, then you might be tempted to take a shortcut to save time. But unless you are familiar with the streets of London then we suggest you stick to the main routes you planned in advance.

If you think that you have seen someone take a quicker route through London, then it is probably a bad idea. While Londoners are good at knowing their way around, it is a difficult city to navigate and your journey will take you a lot longer if you end up getting lost.

It Can Be Costly

If you are planning to drive in and around London, then you should be aware of the congestion charge which is in place across the city. All motorists driving in central London between 7am and 10pm daily within the congestion charge zone are required to pay a fee of £15 per day. This is to encourage drivers to plan a route that avoids the central London zone if possible, to help control congestion and traffic.  

There are other costs that you need to factor in before heading down to London, including making sure that you are fully prepared and insured for the journey. One of the best ways to do this is to get a comparison from a website such as Quotezone.co.uk, which will let you compare policies from over 100 providers by filling in a form on the site.

Watch Out for Bus Lanes

While bus lanes exist in most UK cities up and down the country, they are even more prominent in London. This is because most people opt for public transport in London, instead of trying to drive through the city. As so many bus services are in operation, bus lanes are there to help to ease congestion.  

However, it is important that you keep your eyes peeled for the bus lanes as you could find yourself with a significant fine if you drive in a bus lane while it is in use. After 7pm some bus lanes are opened up for other vehicles to use. So be sure to watch out for the signs.

Parking is Not Easy

It can be difficult to find parking in central London as it is such a congested and busy city. However, it is important that you are careful when it comes to finding somewhere to park.

Many streets are off limits for parking so be sure to watch out for signs that will provide you with instructions. If you park in the wrong place, then you could find yourself with a huge fine. Or even worse, you could return to your car to find it has been clamped or towed away!

Consider Using Public Transport Where Possible

When you are travelling around London, public transport can be a great way to get around. The combination of the extensive London Underground rail system and the numerous big red London buses are very convenient and relatively inexpensive.

Parking in London is a problem for the people who live there, never mind the thousands of people who visit the city every day. Make use of the Black London cabs too; though they can be expensive at times, they are often the quickest way to get across the city if you are in a rush.

If you are just visiting London for a quick break, or planning an extended stay in the city, then these top tips should come in handy. With a little planning and preparation getting around London is quick and easy!

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